Text: Wooley // Photos: Alex Grant
Look at the 240sx from 30,000ft up.
The 240 often gets type-cast & mail-room-filed straight to the drift culture. But instead of stereotyping the car, or mentally limiting its relevance… maybe take a minute & thank the drifters instead. Because over the last 10-15 years, throughout all their stubborn progressions, improvements, and fabrications – they’ve ended up catapulting the 240 forward. And they’ve created a truly vast network of mod-options for the chassis, that makes the car viable on many different levels… through different forms of motorsports. The little skater’s car that could. It’s really not a 1-trick pony.
Think about it. There’s hardly another car out there with such an array of drop-in engine-swap kits available. You can swap SR20s, LSs, 2JZs, just to name a few of the common choices. Because of the craftiness of this aftermarket industry, you can mount a Nissan 350z 6-speed transmission to your Toyota Supra 2JZ engine, in your 1990 Nissan 240sx… and never have to custom make anything to do it. Think about that.
From a suspension standpoint, you have access to literally anything & everything the competitive aftermarket has ever dreamt up.
Ultimately meaning that from a driver standpoint – you really can’t outgrow a 240.
So… thanks to drifters… the 240sx has become bigger than drifting.
And Erin Sanford, the owner of this car, exemplifies that sort of a statement.
Erin works at Yokohama. He is a drifter who’s transitioned to track events over the years… but he’s never felt the need to ‘transition’ cars. And that’s a pretty strong & significant statement.
This car has been LS1-powered for over a decade now. As long as I’ve known him.
10+ years ago, click-to-order engine swap kits didn’t exist like they do now. Erin didn’t ‘buy an install kit’, he ‘bought a welder’… and calculated it out.
To say that Erin is a logical, mathematical kind of guy – would be an understatement. And ultimately, Erin did the math & chose the LS for the same reasons everyone else does: its immediate throttle response, its consistency, and its reliability. Except 10 years ago, there was no ‘everybody else’ yet. Just a handful of guys out there, who were tired of heat-soaking their SRs.
And now, after 10 years and literally countless drift + track events… he’s still running that same motor. That… very… same motor. He changes fluid; he drives it; he changes tires.
You go to the track for thrills, right? Not to lay under your car on hot asphalt, looking up wondering how much it’s gonna cost you this time. There are not a lot of cars with this kind of versatility, headache-free performance, AND this kind of consistency – at ANY price range.
And yeah, maybe a 240 lacks that certain mystical pedigree that some racers look for in their cars. But pedigree is earned through history. It’s proven over time. And the 240 is proving it now.